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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Yalobusha County 4-H Members Have Busy Week

By Steve Cummings

A lot has and will be going on with our 4-Hers from Yalobusha County. Shelby Carmichael of Coffeeville is competing in the 4-H National Shooting Sports in Nebraska. Shelby earned a spot on Mississippi’s four-person pistol team last year by having one of the top four scores in State Competition.  

Adding to the National 4-H Shooting Sport’s Competition this year is the fact that Shelby’s dad, Tony Carmichael, is Mississippi’s 4-H Pistol Team Coach. Tony has been working with this team and believes they have a very good chance in the National Competition. Shelby is the first 4-Her from Yalobusha County to qualify for the Mississippi 4-H Shooting Sports team. Next week, there will be a report on how she did.

 A week or so ago, Briley Kilgore, Patrick McMillian, and Peyton McMillian competed in the Northwest District 4-H contest for junior 4-Her’s. Patrick and Peyton won blue ribbons on their Clover Leaf Exhibits and Briley won second place in the 4-H Share-the-Fun Competition.  Briley was asked to perform a second song in the competition.  Congratulations to all of them.

 This week is the Northwest District 4-H Horse Show in Batesville and Yalobusha County will be represented well.  Twenty seven 4-Her’s are pre-registered in 191 classes which is about one third of the show. The show begins Thursday, June 25, with the non-riding contest.  

Yalobusha County will have entries in the horse judging contest, horse bowl competition, public speaking, and team demonstrations.  Many of our 4-Hers will have photography and art exhibits as well.

 Thursday night at 6 p.m., Yalobusha County will have entries in the cutting, calf roping, and goat tying competitions.  Friday, June 26, at 9 a.m. will start with halter, showmanship, and all western classes.  Saturday at 9 a.m. will start with all gaited and English classes followed by the running events.  

This show will be held at the Ranch One Arena just west of Batesville.  If you are looking for something to do, come support our young people.  Admission is free.

Horticulture Tips:

 An easy way to establish foreground interest in a yard is to make a feature out of existing trees. Rather than addressing each tree as a separate item, unify them into a large landscape mass by planting underneath a group of trees.  A large planting can be much more satisfying and appear less arbitrary than the “10 little Indians” effect of separate treatment around each tree.

 For example, homeowners confronted with three or four lonely pine trees sentried across their lawn should key their design from nature.  Instead of circling plants around the base of each tree, drift plants casually underneath the tree canopy.

 Since the planting will be informal and not rigid or geometrical (nature doesn’t plant material that is loose and informal in growth habit—for instance, the large azaleas). Give some attention to color selection if a blooming plant is chosen.  Drifting colors in groups of three or four looks more informal than alternating two colors throughout the entire bed.

 In a large area with strong vertical elements (a bed that will comprise several tall, straight-trunked trees like pine trees), it may be necessary to introduce a plant material—a smaller tree for instance—that will create contrast between the strong upright forms of the trees and the shrub level.  This is call understory planting.

 The natural understory tree throughout much of the South is the flowering dogwood. Dogwoods grown as understory can be expected to develop their own relaxed shape as they stretch their branches in an effort to find light.

 Many other suitable plants (redbud, sourwood) can be used for understory planting. Don’t belittle your shrubs by forcing them to cower at the foot of a tree—develop the bed to be as imposing as the trunks they tie together.

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